Creating a seamless experience: How Mr Gaurav Shetty is revolutionizing the hospitality industry
Mr. Gaurav Shetty, a pioneer of the hospitality industry with a remarkable journey is the Director of Peninsula Hospitality Group. He has gained over 10 years of experience in the hospitality sector and has worked in the UK, UAE, and Indian markets which have greatly widened his exposure and experience and equipped him to continue his dream and make it a reality. In India and Dubai, Gaurav already operates 20 F&B establishments, 5 hotels, and 1 beach resort, including the Peninsula Grand, Redpine, and Opa! Bar & Cafe, Mitron Cafe (with multiple locations), The Stables, Rodeo Drive, Kovalam, Spirits Pub, Cowboy, President Hotel, Marco Polo Hotel, Tipsy Tiger, and many others.
1. What is your outlook on the hospitality industry in India?
A: The hospitality industry is one of the largest industries in India and has been a significant contributor to the nation's economy. Cultural and heritage tourism was always the biggest takers in the past but now India, being a symbolic player in the world economy, business tourism is also at par. India’s tourism is growing at an enormous rate and there is a huge scope for small and medium-size businesses as well be it rooms or restaurants.
There is nothing wrong in the hospitality industry. It's emerging, evolving and adapting. Changes should be in the mindset of the business owners who are running these establishments.
2. How do you think the hospitality industry is grappling post covid?
A: Like all other industries, the hospitality sector has experienced a number of challenges during COVID. But recovering from the losses and restarting the business after COVID has been extremely tough for the hospitality sector in particular, leading to many closures for many establishments, layoffs, and financial issues. However, post 2021, the industry is experiencing a significant increase once more and is showing promising signs to all businesses operating in the field.
3. How is hospitality space-faring in India in comparison to the global market?
A: According to me, India, like the US, is self-sufficient in comparison to other countries that have to make a lot of effort to get tourists to the country and get the hospitality sector going. India has an upper hand in global markets due to its large population which is rich in culture & diversity. However, boosting foreign tourism is always beneficial to local businesses as well as the country’s economy in terms of the inflow of forex trades.
4. How do you foresee yourself in the future in this hospitality industry?
A: In the upcoming future, I envision ourselves expanding in different sectors of hospitality and new cities, new countries and experiencing those cultures, alongside introducing our culture and cuisine to them.
"With the hospitality industry, you must keep up with the market trends and curate experience that keeps people excited including your guests or your colleagues."
5. What new features are you planning to bring to the market?
A: We are aiming to establish a sustainable economic and environmental model while incorporating new technologies into both our services and products.
6. Do you face any challenges while growing in this industry?
A: There are challenges in every industry. How you approach these challenges completely depends on how well one sees it! With the hospitality industry, you must keep up with the market trends and curate experience that keeps people excited including your guests or your colleagues. Once you recognize that, consistency is the key.
7. Please share your journey in the hospitality industry from the beginning?
A: Being born into a family that exudes hospitality has always given a boost and provides us a valuable lesson at every step of our progress. My father (Mr. K R Shetty) is a visionary and we strive to execute his vision in every way and move in that direction.
8. How young minds are contributing to this industry? Kindly share some thoughts on the same.
A: I feel the young generation have taken over with their creativity and business acumen. They are made to build corporations and have the knack of doing business. They are shrewd and understanding at the same time and have the will to comprehend business intricately to its core and then take it forward in ways that the previous generations were unable to. Additionally, they understand the power of social media and the importance of being out there in the market and promoting their businesses with no inhibitions at all.
9. If you could change one thing about the hospitality industry today, what will it be?
A: There is nothing wrong in the hospitality industry. It's emerging, evolving and adapting. Changes should be in the mindset of the business owners who are running these establishments. They need to understand that good service and good food have become the basics of the industry. They should focus on the customer experience as a whole and every step of the experience should be well taken care of or else their business will be left behind because there are many businesses in the market who are there to excel. Another major factor is to take care of their employees first. Happy people make happy customers! If your employees are well taken care of, you have won half the battle.
10. Where do you want to see yourself in the coming years?
A: I see myself establishing a great and healthy workspace with brilliant people in it who desire to advance in the industry as well and make a name for themselves. With a great team, the coming years would be an enormous journey of learning, growing, and establishing. And this is how I want to expand internationally and make an Indian-born company go global.
11. How many outlets are you planning to open by 2024?
A: It was never about the numbers. We determine the potential of the organization and then decide how we can move forward. In the past couple of years, we have opened 2-3 outlets a year and with the talents that we have right now, our growth is going to be exponential.